Alan Bressler often reviews books on this blog. His last review, Fifty Shades of Grey inspired lots of comments. He is an  entrepreneur, avid reader, businessman, philanthropist and kayaker.

We both recently read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and agreed it had great characters, unexpected twists and a compelling plot. I couldn't put it down...and now an earlier book by Flynn titled DARK PLACES (according to Alan's review) is another must read.

Alan Bressler says:

I would like to recommend a mystery/whodunit whose title embodies the book in a very apt manner- “Dark Places” by Gillian Flynn, the author of “Gone Girl”.

No detective heroes, neither alcoholic, drug addicted brilliant poet or otherwise lead us on an interesting trip of discovery. I was so impressed by Gone Girl that I googled the author and came up with DARK PLACES. Firstly, you must understand that the title is not an exageration and to get into this book you must be willing and able to derive enjoyment from a story well told.

 Libby Day, the sole survivor of a bloody massacre of her family when she was only seven, is now 34, a troubled young woman who has never been able to get past the fact that her testimony led to the conviction of her brother as the perpetrator of this massacre. Down to her last money, (that came from a trust set up for her by public donations at the time of the trial), Libby is contacted by a “kill group”, a wierd fringe group whose activities are centered around delving into gruesome murders that they believe have been poorly investigated by the police.

When offered money to contact people who were involved in the case and whom the group believed to be possible alternatives to her brother’s guilt, Libby sets out upon a journey of discovery that leads her back to the town where the events took place.

Moving back and forth between 1985, when the crime took place, to the present where Libby’s current inquiries take shape, we are led to a day by day retelling of the events leading up to the crime itself as seen from her brother Ben’s eyes as well as the views of others.

Make no mistake, IT IS DARK, but a really good story, well constructed and gripping as you click or (for those who like to feel the book) turn pages. The book escalates to the final act with the appropriate twists and turns necessary to a good mystery.

About Gillian Flynn

DARK PLACES is Flynn's second novel and in 2009 was selected by the New York Review as Reviewer's Favorite. Publisher's Weekly selected DARK PLACES as the Best Book of 2009.

Flynn's work has been published in 28 countries. She lives with her family in Chicago and is working on a third novel... hopefully.

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